NotSoZen YogaJen

Posts Tagged ‘yoga detox

When I hurt my foot in early December, I was told that I shouldn’t go to yoga for two weeks.  But after two weeks my foot still hurt, and then two weeks turned into over a month without yoga.  Last week I hit the five week mark, and although my foot still hurt a little, I couldn’t take the yoga detox anymore.  Since my foot was feeling better enough, I decided that it was time to venture back to yoga class, and just proceed with caution.

First I went to a couple of Vinyasa classes and tried to modify poses that involved crunching my foot.  But in Vinyasa, there are many poses that do this – plank, chaturanga, upward to downward dog transitions, and jumping back and jumping forward, which all come up a lot during the flow sequence.  Also, my hamstring still likes to seize up in triangle pose, and stay seized for the rest of class.

Regardless, it felt so good to be reunited with my beloved yoga after the long hiatus.  As soon as I stepped in the studio I was soothed, and when I unrolled my mat and sat cross-legged on a blanket in the moments before class began, I already felt that familiar “Ahhhhh” sensation settle into my body and mind.  Yoga is such a huge and integral part of my life, and helps me deal with stress and anxiety and low energy and depression that without it, I didn’t totally feel like myself.  Plus I was stressed, anxious, lethargic, and depressed.

Since I had several muscle injuries in the fall and I’m trying to avoid foot-crunching poses (and since it’s freezing), I thought that Bikram might be better for me to practice right now.  So I went to a Bikram class yesterday.  And I struggled through it, fighting, as I usually do, waves of nausea and the feeling that I might pass out.  But it didn’t hurt my foot, because there are only three poses that require being on tip-toes in Bikram, and I could make adjustments and modifications for all of them.  And my hamstring didn’t seize up or even bother me at all.

After the brutal class is when the bliss always kicks in.  My racing thoughts had been quieted.  I felt peaceful and calm, yet energized and alert.  My face was bright red for hours after class, but my skin looked dewy and glowy.  And I slept really, really well.  Bikram is also great at combating brain fog, and today I feel clear-headed and focused.

Since I started practicing yoga over 12 years ago, I have been a devout Vinyasa yogini.  But as I am having to negotiate some injuries, my practice has to change to accommodate that.  While I don’t see giving up Vinyasa, I want to add more Bikram classes to my yoga mix, and see how it goes.  And hopefully the waves of nausea and verge of passing out-ness will decrease as I get more acclimated to the intense heat.

Whether I go to Bikram or Vinyasa classes, it feels so good to be back at yoga.  When I practice regularly, I am so much more calm and energized.  My body feels active, awake, and that good kind of sore.  My mind is tranquil.  And best of all, I feel like myself again.

For someone as addicted to yoga as I am, who craves it and goes into withdrawal when I don’t get it, I’ve encountered a lot of obstacles to making it to yoga class this fall.

First there was my pain the neck, which felt better only to then feel worse, plus a hamstring thing thrown into the tweaked-out mix.  But then I was starting to get back my regular Vinyasa yoga practice.  And last week I had a welcome dose of Bikram bliss.  With the cold weather and some difficult  issues to grapple with, I was feining for my next Bikram fix and couldn’t wait to hit that heated studio hard.  I envisioned going to several Bikram classes this week, and vaguely entertained a fantasy of working my way up to the Bikram 30 Day Challenge.  I imagined the bliss, balance, and much-needed tranquility that  it would bring to me and my life.

Then last Saturday, what I hit hard was my toe.  I wish I could stub my toe in delicate ways that involved temporary minor discomfort and hopping around for five minutes tops, and did not involve my foot swelling up and turning blue, but unfortunately this was not the case.  I knew that bruising was usually a sign of breakage, but I also knew that there’s really not much you can do for a broken toe.  However, I was still in pain and hobbling around on Monday, so I called my podiatrist just in case.  I described my foot to the receptionist and asked if I should come into the office, thinking that she would say it was no big deal and would heal on its own.  But she put me on hold to ask the doctor, and when she got back on the phone she said, “The doctor said to come in an hour!”  Yikes.

It turns out that my toe isn’t broken, but the soft tissue is injured.  It turns out that I can’t do yoga for at least two weeks.  And it turns out that I need better peripheral vision.

So two weeks without yoga.  (I’m already halfway through, but honestly, the detox isn’t going so well.  And anyway, it’s supposed to take 21 days to break a habit.  Not that I want to break my yoga habit altogether…)  Plus I am dealing with issues, anxiety, and self-diagnosed Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Which means that until December 26th when my yoga ban is lifted, I will have to find other ways to cope.  In my forced detox from yoga, I will have to go to yoga addict rehab.  And I don’t think Dr. Drew handles that, so I’m on my own.

Until I get out of yoga rehab, when I feel these uncomfortable or sad or anxious feelings, I can’t run to yoga class to make them go away.  I have to sit with them.  Yikes.  And find other ways to work through them.   Other practices that will bring me some form of bliss, balance, and much-needed tranquility.

I’m working on this.  But I have big dreams of going to a Bikram yoga class on New Year’s Eve and sweating into the new year.  I really hope my toe heals by then.

How do you feel when you can’t get to yoga class for whatever reason?  What are your other ways of coping with stress and cultivating calm?

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